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The 12 countries that spend the highest proportion of GDP on their military

US MilitaryA US soldier.Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesThe United States regularly has the world’s highest military expenditure, and upped its budget to $603 billion (£467 million) this year.

But when military spend is looked at as a percentage of a country’s gross domestic product (GDP), the picture is different.

This measurement looks at the relative size of a country’s miltary spending, rather than comparing budgets.

Keep scrolling for the top 12 countries. 

12. Yemen — 4.02% of GDP

12. Yemen — 4.02% of GDP

Forensic experts investigate the scene at the community hall where Saudi-led warplanes struck a funeral in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, October 9, 2016. Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

Population: 27.4 million (48th in the world)

18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service, but over 40% of Yemen’s population is 14 or younger, and the median age is 19.2.

Yemen has been gripped by civil war since 2014, when Houthi rebels took much of the country by force. In response, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies — with assistance from the United States and the UK — launched a drone strike campaign in an attempt to retake territory from the rebels.

Yemen is currently suffering a famine, which the UN has called the world’s largest hunger crisis[3], and an outbreak of cholera.

11. Lebanon — 4.04% of GDP

11. Lebanon — 4.04% of GDP

Hundreds of Syrian families wait to register at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon, on Jan. 30, 2017.AP/ Hassan Ammar

Population: 6.2 million (108th in the world)

The legal minimum age for voluntary military service is between 17 and 30, and there is no conscription.

Parts of Lebanon are still controlled by Hezbollah — a Shi’a Islamist military group and political party, named as a terrorist organisation by the European Union. Hezbollah was involved in a war with Israel in 2006.

Meanwhile, in 2012 the Syrian conflict spilled into Lebanon, and tensions and violence in the country escalated. According to the UN refugee agency[4], there are now over one million Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

10. Armenia — 4.1% of GDP

10. Armenia — 4.1% of GDP

Protesters gesture as a riot police vehicle sprays a jet of water to disperse them during a rally against a recent decision to raise public electricity prices in Yerevan, Armenia, June 23, 2015. The protest started on Monday, when about 5,000 demonstrators marched to the presidential headquarters, as they rallied against a recent decision to raise public electricity prices, but were stopped by riot police. The protesters began a sit-in protest, blocking traffic on a central boulevard. Police asked demonstrators to leave the road but they refused. Reuters/Vahram Baghdasaryan/Photolure

Population: 3.1 million (136th in the world)

People between the ages of 18 and 27 are eligible to volunteer for military service, and there is a two-year mandatory conscription period for men.

On Tuesday the Azerbaijani Defence Ministry reported that Armenia’s military forces had violated a ceasefire between the two nations 128 times in 24 hours.

This conflict began in 1988 when Armenia tried to take Azerbaijani territory. The ceasefire was agreed in 1994 following peace negotiations, but tensions remain in the Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh region, which has an ethnic Armenian majority.

Last year, violent protests erupted in Armenia’s capital, with armed protestors demanding the resignation of President Serzh Sarkisian and the release of opposition leader Jirair Sefilian.

9. USA — 4.35% of GDP

9. USA — 4.35% of GDP

TAJI, IRAQ – APRIL 12: U.S. Army trainers speak with Iraqi Army recruits at a military base on April 12, 2015 in Taji, Iraq. Members of the U.S. Army’s 5-73 CAV, 3BCT, 82nd Airborne Division are teaching members of the newly-formed 15th Division of the Iraqi Army, as the Iraqi government launches offensives to try to recover territory lost to ISIS last year.Getty Images

Population: 324 million (4th in the world)

The legal minimum age for voluntary military service in the United States is 18, or 17 with parental consent. In 2011, the US Department of Defence said the country had active military troops stationed in nearly 150 countries.

Most recently and most prominently, US forces have been involved in airstrikes and raids in Yemen,, Syria and Iraq. US forces have been criticised[5] for civilian deaths in all three countries.

The election of President Donald Trump has caused concerns that US military intervention in the Middle East is set to increase. In May, the US budget increased military spending by $15 billion, below the $54 billion Trump called for[6] in March.

8. Algeria — 4.48% of GDP

8. Algeria — 4.48% of GDP

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.Thomson Reuters

Population: 40.3 million (34th in the world)

The legal age for military service is 17, and men are conscripted for 18 months between the ages of 19 and 30. 

Algeria suffered a civil war beginning in 1992, sparked by a military coup against the Islamic Salvation Front. The war led to the deaths of more than 100,000 people, with thousands more missing. In 1999 President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who still rules Algeria, agreed a peace deal with the rebels and banned the Islamic Salvation Front party. 

In June, Algeria joined Egypt and Tunisia in calling for political dialogue to end the crisis in neighbouring Libya, rejecting a military solution. 

7. Jordan — 4.65% of GDP

7. Jordan — 4.65% of GDP

A Jordanian soldier carries a Syrian refugee child to help him board a Jordanian army vehicleThomson Reuters

Population: 8.2 million (97th in the world)

Jordanians must be 17 to join the military, and conscription for men was reintroduced in 2007.

In 2014 Jordan’s national airline introduced new restrictions on travel for men of military age, in preparation for military action against Islamic jihadists in Iraq and Syria. The biggest age group in the country is 0-14, and the median age is 22.3. 

In June, Germany announced it would move its military forces from Turkey to Jordan following a diplomatic dispute.

Jordan is a close military ally of the US and holds a strategically important position between Iraq and Syria.

6. Azerbaijan — 4.7% of GDP

6. Azerbaijan — 4.7% of GDP

A house which was damaged during clashes between Armenian and Azeri forces is seen in Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is controlled by separatist Armenians, in this still image taken from video provided by Nagorno-Karabakh region Defence Ministry April 2, 2016.REUTERS/Nagorno-Karabakh Military Handout via Reuters TV

Population: 9.9 million (92nd in the world)

Men between 18 and 35 are required to perform military service for 18 months, or for 12 months if they are university graduates. 

The landlocked region of Nagorno-Karabakh remains disputed territory between Azerbaijan and Armenia. 

A ceasefire, brokered in 1994, was violated severely last year when troops marched on the region and hostilities heated up. Azerbaijan also said Armenia had broken it 128 times in 24 hours on Tuesday.

5. Israel — 5.69% of GDP

5. Israel — 5.69% of GDP

Two Israeli Border Police officers detain Palestinian photographer Shadi Hatem, during a protest organized by activists in support of Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails, in front of the Israeli Ofer prison, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, August 3, 2016.Nasser Shiyoukhi/AP

Population: 8.2 million (99th in the world)

Both men and women must do military service, although men must serve for longer (32 months compared to women’s 24 months).

Israel has been locked in a conflict over territory with neighbouring Palestine for years, despite numerous attempts by international forces to broker a peace agreement. Israelis have ruled over Palestinians in the West Bank, in the east of Israel, and eastern Jerusalem since 1967, and low-level fighting between the two sides are ongoing.

US President Donald Trump boasted before his election that he could help broker a peace deal between the two nations, but reports from June suggested he may be considering pulling out of the process.

4. Saudi Arabia — 7.98% of GDP

4. Saudi Arabia — 7.98% of GDP

Saudi youths demonstrate a stunt known as “sidewall skiing” (driving on two wheels) in the northern city of Hail, in Saudi Arabia March 30, 2013.Reuters

Population: 28.2 million (47th in the world)

The minimum legal age for men (women are not permitted) to join the military in Saudi Arabia is 17, and there is no conscription. 

In May, oil-rich Saudi Arabia signed a $110 billion[7] weapons deal with the United States, which included items that had been put on hold under the Obama administration due to concerns about civilian deaths in Saudi’s attacks on Yemen.

The British government has also been criticised for continuing to sell arms to Saudi, despite civilian deaths in Yemeni raids.

Saudi and its allies in the Middle East cut diplomatic ties with and imposed sanctions on Qatar earlier in June, after accusing the country of supporting extremism. After issuing an ultimatum last week, Saudi announced on Wednesday[8] that it had received a response, and would reply in due course.

3. Oman — 8.61% of GDP

3. Oman — 8.61% of GDP

Oman’s leader Sultan Qaboos bin Said. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad

Population: 3.4 million (134th in the world)

The legal age for voluntary military service is between 18 and 30, and there is no conscription.

The UK sold £2.5 billion[9] worth of weapons to Oman, a close ally, in 2013, and the UK government has a military base in Oman’s Duqm Port complex. But human rights campaigners have criticised the UK’s support for the country: Human Rights Watch[10] says Oman does not permit freedom of expression, discriminates against women and allows the abuse and exploitation of migrant workers.

2. Iraq — 8.7% of GDP

2. Iraq — 8.7% of GDP

A member of the Counter Terrorism Service walks past the ruined Grand al-Nuri Mosque in the Old City in MosulThomson Reuters

Population: 38.1 million (37th in the world)

The median age in Iraq is 19.9, and military service is open to those aged between 18 and 40. There is no conscription.

Military spending in Iraq has increased considerably since 2011, when it stood at 3.18% of GDP. 

Iraq was ravaged by war between 2003 and 2011, that began following an invasion by a United States-led coalition to topple Saddam Hussein. The UK’s Chilcot inquiry has since condemned the war as unnecessary since Hussein did not pose an immediate threat to the UK and intelligence reports that he had weapons of mass destruction were false.

The governments that have held power in Iraq since Hussein have battled to keep order, and the country is still suffering violence and instability. In 2014, ISIS seized large parts of the country. Much of this territory has since been regained, but thousands of people have been displaced in the conflict.

1. South Sudan — 10.32% of GDP

Population: 12.3 million (75th in the world)

The median age in South Sudan is 17.1, and over 44% of the population is between the age of 0 and 14. However, charity UNICEF estimates[11] that more than 17,000 child soldiers have been used to help fight the country’s civil war, which began in 2013. Despite this, 18 is the legal minimum age for both compulsory and voluntary military service.

The war erupted after President Salva Kiir accused his former vice-president of plotting a coup. Although a ceasefire was brokered in 2014, it has been repeatedly broken.

The war has caused over one million people to be displaced, and reports suggest civilians are being routinely targeted. In December 2016, the UN said ethnic cleansing[12] was occurring in some parts of the country.

In February, the UN formally declared a famine[13] in parts of South Sudan, warning that 100,000 people were facing starvation and over a million were on the brink of famine. In May, the President declared a ceasefire, but the violence has continued.

References

  1. ^ One Page (www.businessinsider.com)
  2. ^ Slides (www.businessinsider.com)
  3. ^ world’s largest hunger crisis (www.un.org)
  4. ^ UN refugee agency (data.unhcr.org)
  5. ^ US forces have been criticised (uk.businessinsider.com)
  6. ^ $54 billion Trump called for (uk.businessinsider.com)
  7. ^ signed a $110 billion (uk.businessinsider.com)
  8. ^ Saudi announced on Wednesday (www.businessinsider.com)
  9. ^ sold £2.5 billion (www.gov.uk)
  10. ^ Human Rights Watch (www.hrw.org)
  11. ^ UNICEF estimates (www.unicef.org)
  12. ^ the UN said ethnic cleansing (www.un.org)
  13. ^ UN formally declared a famine (www.un.org)
0

The 12 countries that spend the highest proportion of GDP on their military

US MilitaryA US soldier.Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesThe United States regularly has the world’s highest military expenditure, and upped its budget to $603 billion (£467 million) this year.

But when military spend is looked at as a percentage of a country’s gross domestic product (GDP), the picture is different.

This measurement looks at the relative size of a country’s miltary spending, rather than comparing budgets.

Keep scrolling for the top 12 countries. 

12. Yemen — 4.02% of GDP

12. Yemen — 4.02% of GDP

Forensic experts investigate the scene at the community hall where Saudi-led warplanes struck a funeral in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, October 9, 2016. Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

Population: 27.4 million (48th in the world)

18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service, but over 40% of Yemen’s population is 14 or younger, and the median age is 19.2.

Yemen has been gripped by civil war since 2014, when Houthi rebels took much of the country by force. In response, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies — with assistance from the United States and the UK — launched a drone strike campaign in an attempt to retake territory from the rebels.

Yemen is currently suffering a famine, which the UN has called the world’s largest hunger crisis[3], and an outbreak of cholera.

11. Lebanon — 4.04% of GDP

11. Lebanon — 4.04% of GDP

Hundreds of Syrian families wait to register at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon, on Jan. 30, 2017.AP/ Hassan Ammar

Population: 6.2 million (108th in the world)

The legal minimum age for voluntary military service is between 17 and 30, and there is no conscription.

Parts of Lebanon are still controlled by Hezbollah — a Shi’a Islamist military group and political party, named as a terrorist organisation by the European Union. Hezbollah was involved in a war with Israel in 2006.

Meanwhile, in 2012 the Syrian conflict spilled into Lebanon, and tensions and violence in the country escalated. According to the UN refugee agency[4], there are now over one million Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

10. Armenia — 4.1% of GDP

10. Armenia — 4.1% of GDP

Protesters gesture as a riot police vehicle sprays a jet of water to disperse them during a rally against a recent decision to raise public electricity prices in Yerevan, Armenia, June 23, 2015. The protest started on Monday, when about 5,000 demonstrators marched to the presidential headquarters, as they rallied against a recent decision to raise public electricity prices, but were stopped by riot police. The protesters began a sit-in protest, blocking traffic on a central boulevard. Police asked demonstrators to leave the road but they refused. Reuters/Vahram Baghdasaryan/Photolure

Population: 3.1 million (136th in the world)

People between the ages of 18 and 27 are eligible to volunteer for military service, and there is a two-year mandatory conscription period for men.

On Tuesday the Azerbaijani Defence Ministry reported that Armenia’s military forces had violated a ceasefire between the two nations 128 times in 24 hours.

This conflict began in 1988 when Armenia tried to take Azerbaijani territory. The ceasefire was agreed in 1994 following peace negotiations, but tensions remain in the Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh region, which has an ethnic Armenian majority.

Last year, violent protests erupted in Armenia’s capital, with armed protestors demanding the resignation of President Serzh Sarkisian and the release of opposition leader Jirair Sefilian.

9. USA — 4.35% of GDP

9. USA — 4.35% of GDP

TAJI, IRAQ – APRIL 12: U.S. Army trainers speak with Iraqi Army recruits at a military base on April 12, 2015 in Taji, Iraq. Members of the U.S. Army’s 5-73 CAV, 3BCT, 82nd Airborne Division are teaching members of the newly-formed 15th Division of the Iraqi Army, as the Iraqi government launches offensives to try to recover territory lost to ISIS last year.Getty Images

Population: 324 million (4th in the world)

The legal minimum age for voluntary military service in the United States is 18, or 17 with parental consent. In 2011, the US Department of Defence said the country had active military troops stationed in nearly 150 countries.

Most recently and most prominently, US forces have been involved in airstrikes and raids in Yemen,, Syria and Iraq. US forces have been criticised[5] for civilian deaths in all three countries.

The election of President Donald Trump has caused concerns that US military intervention in the Middle East is set to increase. In May, the US budget increased military spending by $15 billion, below the $54 billion Trump called for[6] in March.

8. Algeria — 4.48% of GDP

8. Algeria — 4.48% of GDP

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.Thomson Reuters

Population: 40.3 million (34th in the world)

The legal age for military service is 17, and men are conscripted for 18 months between the ages of 19 and 30. 

Algeria suffered a civil war beginning in 1992, sparked by a military coup against the Islamic Salvation Front. The war led to the deaths of more than 100,000 people, with thousands more missing. In 1999 President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who still rules Algeria, agreed a peace deal with the rebels and banned the Islamic Salvation Front party. 

In June, Algeria joined Egypt and Tunisia in calling for political dialogue to end the crisis in neighbouring Libya, rejecting a military solution. 

7. Jordan — 4.65% of GDP

7. Jordan — 4.65% of GDP

A Jordanian soldier carries a Syrian refugee child to help him board a Jordanian army vehicleThomson Reuters

Population: 8.2 million (97th in the world)

Jordanians must be 17 to join the military, and conscription for men was reintroduced in 2007.

In 2014 Jordan’s national airline introduced new restrictions on travel for men of military age, in preparation for military action against Islamic jihadists in Iraq and Syria. The biggest age group in the country is 0-14, and the median age is 22.3. 

In June, Germany announced it would move its military forces from Turkey to Jordan following a diplomatic dispute.

Jordan is a close military ally of the US and holds a strategically important position between Iraq and Syria.

6. Azerbaijan — 4.7% of GDP

6. Azerbaijan — 4.7% of GDP

A house which was damaged during clashes between Armenian and Azeri forces is seen in Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is controlled by separatist Armenians, in this still image taken from video provided by Nagorno-Karabakh region Defence Ministry April 2, 2016.REUTERS/Nagorno-Karabakh Military Handout via Reuters TV

Population: 9.9 million (92nd in the world)

Men between 18 and 35 are required to perform military service for 18 months, or for 12 months if they are university graduates. 

The landlocked region of Nagorno-Karabakh remains disputed territory between Azerbaijan and Armenia. 

A ceasefire, brokered in 1994, was violated severely last year when troops marched on the region and hostilities heated up. Azerbaijan also said Armenia had broken it 128 times in 24 hours on Tuesday.

5. Israel — 5.69% of GDP

5. Israel — 5.69% of GDP

Two Israeli Border Police officers detain Palestinian photographer Shadi Hatem, during a protest organized by activists in support of Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails, in front of the Israeli Ofer prison, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, August 3, 2016.Nasser Shiyoukhi/AP

Population: 8.2 million (99th in the world)

Both men and women must do military service, although men must serve for longer (32 months compared to women’s 24 months).

Israel has been locked in a conflict over territory with neighbouring Palestine for years, despite numerous attempts by international forces to broker a peace agreement. Israelis have ruled over Palestinians in the West Bank, in the east of Israel, and eastern Jerusalem since 1967, and low-level fighting between the two sides are ongoing.

US President Donald Trump boasted before his election that he could help broker a peace deal between the two nations, but reports from June suggested he may be considering pulling out of the process.

4. Saudi Arabia — 7.98% of GDP

4. Saudi Arabia — 7.98% of GDP

Saudi youths demonstrate a stunt known as “sidewall skiing” (driving on two wheels) in the northern city of Hail, in Saudi Arabia March 30, 2013.Reuters

Population: 28.2 million (47th in the world)

The minimum legal age for men (women are not permitted) to join the military in Saudi Arabia is 17, and there is no conscription. 

In May, oil-rich Saudi Arabia signed a $110 billion[7] weapons deal with the United States, which included items that had been put on hold under the Obama administration due to concerns about civilian deaths in Saudi’s attacks on Yemen.

The British government has also been criticised for continuing to sell arms to Saudi, despite civilian deaths in Yemeni raids.

Saudi and its allies in the Middle East cut diplomatic ties with and imposed sanctions on Qatar earlier in June, after accusing the country of supporting extremism. After issuing an ultimatum last week, Saudi announced on Wednesday[8] that it had received a response, and would reply in due course.

3. Oman — 8.61% of GDP

3. Oman — 8.61% of GDP

Oman’s leader Sultan Qaboos bin Said. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad

Population: 3.4 million (134th in the world)

The legal age for voluntary military service is between 18 and 30, and there is no conscription.

The UK sold £2.5 billion[9] worth of weapons to Oman, a close ally, in 2013, and the UK government has a military base in Oman’s Duqm Port complex. But human rights campaigners have criticised the UK’s support for the country: Human Rights Watch[10] says Oman does not permit freedom of expression, discriminates against women and allows the abuse and exploitation of migrant workers.

2. Iraq — 8.7% of GDP

2. Iraq — 8.7% of GDP

A member of the Counter Terrorism Service walks past the ruined Grand al-Nuri Mosque in the Old City in MosulThomson Reuters

Population: 38.1 million (37th in the world)

The median age in Iraq is 19.9, and military service is open to those aged between 18 and 40. There is no conscription.

Military spending in Iraq has increased considerably since 2011, when it stood at 3.18% of GDP. 

Iraq was ravaged by war between 2003 and 2011, that began following an invasion by a United States-led coalition to topple Saddam Hussein. The UK’s Chilcot inquiry has since condemned the war as unnecessary since Hussein did not pose an immediate threat to the UK and intelligence reports that he had weapons of mass destruction were false.

The governments that have held power in Iraq since Hussein have battled to keep order, and the country is still suffering violence and instability. In 2014, ISIS seized large parts of the country. Much of this territory has since been regained, but thousands of people have been displaced in the conflict.

1. South Sudan — 10.32% of GDP

Population: 12.3 million (75th in the world)

The median age in South Sudan is 17.1, and over 44% of the population is between the age of 0 and 14. However, charity UNICEF estimates[11] that more than 17,000 child soldiers have been used to help fight the country’s civil war, which began in 2013. Despite this, 18 is the legal minimum age for both compulsory and voluntary military service.

The war erupted after President Salva Kiir accused his former vice-president of plotting a coup. Although a ceasefire was brokered in 2014, it has been repeatedly broken.

The war has caused over one million people to be displaced, and reports suggest civilians are being routinely targeted. In December 2016, the UN said ethnic cleansing[12] was occurring in some parts of the country.

In February, the UN formally declared a famine[13] in parts of South Sudan, warning that 100,000 people were facing starvation and over a million were on the brink of famine. In May, the President declared a ceasefire, but the violence has continued.

References

  1. ^ One Page (www.businessinsider.com)
  2. ^ Slides (www.businessinsider.com)
  3. ^ world’s largest hunger crisis (www.un.org)
  4. ^ UN refugee agency (data.unhcr.org)
  5. ^ US forces have been criticised (uk.businessinsider.com)
  6. ^ $54 billion Trump called for (uk.businessinsider.com)
  7. ^ signed a $110 billion (uk.businessinsider.com)
  8. ^ Saudi announced on Wednesday (www.businessinsider.com)
  9. ^ sold £2.5 billion (www.gov.uk)
  10. ^ Human Rights Watch (www.hrw.org)
  11. ^ UNICEF estimates (www.unicef.org)
  12. ^ the UN said ethnic cleansing (www.un.org)
  13. ^ UN formally declared a famine (www.un.org)
0

The 12 countries that spend the highest proportion of GDP on their military

US MilitaryA US soldier.Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesThe United States regularly has the world’s highest military expenditure, and upped its budget to $603 billion (£467 million) this year.

But when military spend is looked at as a percentage of a country’s gross domestic product (GDP), the picture is different.

This measurement looks at the relative size of a country’s miltary spending, rather than comparing budgets.

Keep scrolling for the top 12 countries. 

12. Yemen — 4.02% of GDP

12. Yemen — 4.02% of GDP

Forensic experts investigate the scene at the community hall where Saudi-led warplanes struck a funeral in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, October 9, 2016. Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

Population: 27.4 million (48th in the world)

18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service, but over 40% of Yemen’s population is 14 or younger, and the median age is 19.2.

Yemen has been gripped by civil war since 2014, when Houthi rebels took much of the country by force. In response, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies — with assistance from the United States and the UK — launched a drone strike campaign in an attempt to retake territory from the rebels.

Yemen is currently suffering a famine, which the UN has called the world’s largest hunger crisis[3], and an outbreak of cholera.

11. Lebanon — 4.04% of GDP

11. Lebanon — 4.04% of GDP

Hundreds of Syrian families wait to register at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon, on Jan. 30, 2017.AP/ Hassan Ammar

Population: 6.2 million (108th in the world)

The legal minimum age for voluntary military service is between 17 and 30, and there is no conscription.

Parts of Lebanon are still controlled by Hezbollah — a Shi’a Islamist military group and political party, named as a terrorist organisation by the European Union. Hezbollah was involved in a war with Israel in 2006.

Meanwhile, in 2012 the Syrian conflict spilled into Lebanon, and tensions and violence in the country escalated. According to the UN refugee agency[4], there are now over one million Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

10. Armenia — 4.1% of GDP

10. Armenia — 4.1% of GDP

Protesters gesture as a riot police vehicle sprays a jet of water to disperse them during a rally against a recent decision to raise public electricity prices in Yerevan, Armenia, June 23, 2015. The protest started on Monday, when about 5,000 demonstrators marched to the presidential headquarters, as they rallied against a recent decision to raise public electricity prices, but were stopped by riot police. The protesters began a sit-in protest, blocking traffic on a central boulevard. Police asked demonstrators to leave the road but they refused. Reuters/Vahram Baghdasaryan/Photolure

Population: 3.1 million (136th in the world)

People between the ages of 18 and 27 are eligible to volunteer for military service, and there is a two-year mandatory conscription period for men.

On Tuesday the Azerbaijani Defence Ministry reported that Armenia’s military forces had violated a ceasefire between the two nations 128 times in 24 hours.

This conflict began in 1988 when Armenia tried to take Azerbaijani territory. The ceasefire was agreed in 1994 following peace negotiations, but tensions remain in the Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh region, which has an ethnic Armenian majority.

Last year, violent protests erupted in Armenia’s capital, with armed protestors demanding the resignation of President Serzh Sarkisian and the release of opposition leader Jirair Sefilian.

9. USA — 4.35% of GDP

9. USA — 4.35% of GDP

TAJI, IRAQ – APRIL 12: U.S. Army trainers speak with Iraqi Army recruits at a military base on April 12, 2015 in Taji, Iraq. Members of the U.S. Army’s 5-73 CAV, 3BCT, 82nd Airborne Division are teaching members of the newly-formed 15th Division of the Iraqi Army, as the Iraqi government launches offensives to try to recover territory lost to ISIS last year.Getty Images

Population: 324 million (4th in the world)

The legal minimum age for voluntary military service in the United States is 18, or 17 with parental consent. In 2011, the US Department of Defence said the country had active military troops stationed in nearly 150 countries.

Most recently and most prominently, US forces have been involved in airstrikes and raids in Yemen,, Syria and Iraq. US forces have been criticised[5] for civilian deaths in all three countries.

The election of President Donald Trump has caused concerns that US military intervention in the Middle East is set to increase. In May, the US budget increased military spending by $15 billion, below the $54 billion Trump called for[6] in March.

8. Algeria — 4.48% of GDP

8. Algeria — 4.48% of GDP

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.Thomson Reuters

Population: 40.3 million (34th in the world)

The legal age for military service is 17, and men are conscripted for 18 months between the ages of 19 and 30. 

Algeria suffered a civil war beginning in 1992, sparked by a military coup against the Islamic Salvation Front. The war led to the deaths of more than 100,000 people, with thousands more missing. In 1999 President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who still rules Algeria, agreed a peace deal with the rebels and banned the Islamic Salvation Front party. 

In June, Algeria joined Egypt and Tunisia in calling for political dialogue to end the crisis in neighbouring Libya, rejecting a military solution. 

7. Jordan — 4.65% of GDP

7. Jordan — 4.65% of GDP

A Jordanian soldier carries a Syrian refugee child to help him board a Jordanian army vehicleThomson Reuters

Population: 8.2 million (97th in the world)

Jordanians must be 17 to join the military, and conscription for men was reintroduced in 2007.

In 2014 Jordan’s national airline introduced new restrictions on travel for men of military age, in preparation for military action against Islamic jihadists in Iraq and Syria. The biggest age group in the country is 0-14, and the median age is 22.3. 

In June, Germany announced it would move its military forces from Turkey to Jordan following a diplomatic dispute.

Jordan is a close military ally of the US and holds a strategically important position between Iraq and Syria.

6. Azerbaijan — 4.7% of GDP

6. Azerbaijan — 4.7% of GDP

A house which was damaged during clashes between Armenian and Azeri forces is seen in Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is controlled by separatist Armenians, in this still image taken from video provided by Nagorno-Karabakh region Defence Ministry April 2, 2016.REUTERS/Nagorno-Karabakh Military Handout via Reuters TV

Population: 9.9 million (92nd in the world)

Men between 18 and 35 are required to perform military service for 18 months, or for 12 months if they are university graduates. 

The landlocked region of Nagorno-Karabakh remains disputed territory between Azerbaijan and Armenia. 

A ceasefire, brokered in 1994, was violated severely last year when troops marched on the region and hostilities heated up. Azerbaijan also said Armenia had broken it 128 times in 24 hours on Tuesday.

5. Israel — 5.69% of GDP

5. Israel — 5.69% of GDP

Two Israeli Border Police officers detain Palestinian photographer Shadi Hatem, during a protest organized by activists in support of Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails, in front of the Israeli Ofer prison, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, August 3, 2016.Nasser Shiyoukhi/AP

Population: 8.2 million (99th in the world)

Both men and women must do military service, although men must serve for longer (32 months compared to women’s 24 months).

Israel has been locked in a conflict over territory with neighbouring Palestine for years, despite numerous attempts by international forces to broker a peace agreement. Israelis have ruled over Palestinians in the West Bank, in the east of Israel, and eastern Jerusalem since 1967, and low-level fighting between the two sides are ongoing.

US President Donald Trump boasted before his election that he could help broker a peace deal between the two nations, but reports from June suggested he may be considering pulling out of the process.

4. Saudi Arabia — 7.98% of GDP

4. Saudi Arabia — 7.98% of GDP

Saudi youths demonstrate a stunt known as “sidewall skiing” (driving on two wheels) in the northern city of Hail, in Saudi Arabia March 30, 2013.Reuters

Population: 28.2 million (47th in the world)

The minimum legal age for men (women are not permitted) to join the military in Saudi Arabia is 17, and there is no conscription. 

In May, oil-rich Saudi Arabia signed a $110 billion[7] weapons deal with the United States, which included items that had been put on hold under the Obama administration due to concerns about civilian deaths in Saudi’s attacks on Yemen.

The British government has also been criticised for continuing to sell arms to Saudi, despite civilian deaths in Yemeni raids.

Saudi and its allies in the Middle East cut diplomatic ties with and imposed sanctions on Qatar earlier in June, after accusing the country of supporting extremism. After issuing an ultimatum last week, Saudi announced on Wednesday[8] that it had received a response, and would reply in due course.

3. Oman — 8.61% of GDP

3. Oman — 8.61% of GDP

Oman’s leader Sultan Qaboos bin Said. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad

Population: 3.4 million (134th in the world)

The legal age for voluntary military service is between 18 and 30, and there is no conscription.

The UK sold £2.5 billion[9] worth of weapons to Oman, a close ally, in 2013, and the UK government has a military base in Oman’s Duqm Port complex. But human rights campaigners have criticised the UK’s support for the country: Human Rights Watch[10] says Oman does not permit freedom of expression, discriminates against women and allows the abuse and exploitation of migrant workers.

2. Iraq — 8.7% of GDP

2. Iraq — 8.7% of GDP

A member of the Counter Terrorism Service walks past the ruined Grand al-Nuri Mosque in the Old City in MosulThomson Reuters

Population: 38.1 million (37th in the world)

The median age in Iraq is 19.9, and military service is open to those aged between 18 and 40. There is no conscription.

Military spending in Iraq has increased considerably since 2011, when it stood at 3.18% of GDP. 

Iraq was ravaged by war between 2003 and 2011, that began following an invasion by a United States-led coalition to topple Saddam Hussein. The UK’s Chilcot inquiry has since condemned the war as unnecessary since Hussein did not pose an immediate threat to the UK and intelligence reports that he had weapons of mass destruction were false.

The governments that have held power in Iraq since Hussein have battled to keep order, and the country is still suffering violence and instability. In 2014, ISIS seized large parts of the country. Much of this territory has since been regained, but thousands of people have been displaced in the conflict.

1. South Sudan — 10.32% of GDP

Population: 12.3 million (75th in the world)

The median age in South Sudan is 17.1, and over 44% of the population is between the age of 0 and 14. However, charity UNICEF estimates[11] that more than 17,000 child soldiers have been used to help fight the country’s civil war, which began in 2013. Despite this, 18 is the legal minimum age for both compulsory and voluntary military service.

The war erupted after President Salva Kiir accused his former vice-president of plotting a coup. Although a ceasefire was brokered in 2014, it has been repeatedly broken.

The war has caused over one million people to be displaced, and reports suggest civilians are being routinely targeted. In December 2016, the UN said ethnic cleansing[12] was occurring in some parts of the country.

In February, the UN formally declared a famine[13] in parts of South Sudan, warning that 100,000 people were facing starvation and over a million were on the brink of famine. In May, the President declared a ceasefire, but the violence has continued.

References

  1. ^ One Page (www.businessinsider.com)
  2. ^ Slides (www.businessinsider.com)
  3. ^ world’s largest hunger crisis (www.un.org)
  4. ^ UN refugee agency (data.unhcr.org)
  5. ^ US forces have been criticised (uk.businessinsider.com)
  6. ^ $54 billion Trump called for (uk.businessinsider.com)
  7. ^ signed a $110 billion (uk.businessinsider.com)
  8. ^ Saudi announced on Wednesday (www.businessinsider.com)
  9. ^ sold £2.5 billion (www.gov.uk)
  10. ^ Human Rights Watch (www.hrw.org)
  11. ^ UNICEF estimates (www.unicef.org)
  12. ^ the UN said ethnic cleansing (www.un.org)
  13. ^ UN formally declared a famine (www.un.org)
0

The 12 countries that spend the highest proportion of GDP on their military

US MilitaryA US soldier.Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesThe United States regularly has the world’s highest military expenditure, and upped its budget to $603 billion (£467 million) this year.

But when military spend is looked at as a percentage of a country’s gross domestic product (GDP), the picture is different.

This measurement looks at the relative size of a country’s miltary spending, rather than comparing budgets.

Keep scrolling for the top 12 countries. 

12. Yemen — 4.02% of GDP

12. Yemen — 4.02% of GDP

Forensic experts investigate the scene at the community hall where Saudi-led warplanes struck a funeral in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, October 9, 2016. Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

Population: 27.4 million (48th in the world)

18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service, but over 40% of Yemen’s population is 14 or younger, and the median age is 19.2.

Yemen has been gripped by civil war since 2014, when Houthi rebels took much of the country by force. In response, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies — with assistance from the United States and the UK — launched a drone strike campaign in an attempt to retake territory from the rebels.

Yemen is currently suffering a famine, which the UN has called the world’s largest hunger crisis[3], and an outbreak of cholera.

11. Lebanon — 4.04% of GDP

11. Lebanon — 4.04% of GDP

Hundreds of Syrian families wait to register at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon, on Jan. 30, 2017.AP/ Hassan Ammar

Population: 6.2 million (108th in the world)

The legal minimum age for voluntary military service is between 17 and 30, and there is no conscription.

Parts of Lebanon are still controlled by Hezbollah — a Shi’a Islamist military group and political party, named as a terrorist organisation by the European Union. Hezbollah was involved in a war with Israel in 2006.

Meanwhile, in 2012 the Syrian conflict spilled into Lebanon, and tensions and violence in the country escalated. According to the UN refugee agency[4], there are now over one million Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

10. Armenia — 4.1% of GDP

10. Armenia — 4.1% of GDP

Protesters gesture as a riot police vehicle sprays a jet of water to disperse them during a rally against a recent decision to raise public electricity prices in Yerevan, Armenia, June 23, 2015. The protest started on Monday, when about 5,000 demonstrators marched to the presidential headquarters, as they rallied against a recent decision to raise public electricity prices, but were stopped by riot police. The protesters began a sit-in protest, blocking traffic on a central boulevard. Police asked demonstrators to leave the road but they refused. Reuters/Vahram Baghdasaryan/Photolure

Population: 3.1 million (136th in the world)

People between the ages of 18 and 27 are eligible to volunteer for military service, and there is a two-year mandatory conscription period for men.

On Tuesday the Azerbaijani Defence Ministry reported that Armenia’s military forces had violated a ceasefire between the two nations 128 times in 24 hours.

This conflict began in 1988 when Armenia tried to take Azerbaijani territory. The ceasefire was agreed in 1994 following peace negotiations, but tensions remain in the Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh region, which has an ethnic Armenian majority.

Last year, violent protests erupted in Armenia’s capital, with armed protestors demanding the resignation of President Serzh Sarkisian and the release of opposition leader Jirair Sefilian.

9. USA — 4.35% of GDP

9. USA — 4.35% of GDP

TAJI, IRAQ – APRIL 12: U.S. Army trainers speak with Iraqi Army recruits at a military base on April 12, 2015 in Taji, Iraq. Members of the U.S. Army’s 5-73 CAV, 3BCT, 82nd Airborne Division are teaching members of the newly-formed 15th Division of the Iraqi Army, as the Iraqi government launches offensives to try to recover territory lost to ISIS last year.Getty Images

Population: 324 million (4th in the world)

The legal minimum age for voluntary military service in the United States is 18, or 17 with parental consent. In 2011, the US Department of Defence said the country had active military troops stationed in nearly 150 countries.

Most recently and most prominently, US forces have been involved in airstrikes and raids in Yemen,, Syria and Iraq. US forces have been criticised[5] for civilian deaths in all three countries.

The election of President Donald Trump has caused concerns that US military intervention in the Middle East is set to increase. In May, the US budget increased military spending by $15 billion, below the $54 billion Trump called for[6] in March.

8. Algeria — 4.48% of GDP

8. Algeria — 4.48% of GDP

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.Thomson Reuters

Population: 40.3 million (34th in the world)

The legal age for military service is 17, and men are conscripted for 18 months between the ages of 19 and 30. 

Algeria suffered a civil war beginning in 1992, sparked by a military coup against the Islamic Salvation Front. The war led to the deaths of more than 100,000 people, with thousands more missing. In 1999 President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who still rules Algeria, agreed a peace deal with the rebels and banned the Islamic Salvation Front party. 

In June, Algeria joined Egypt and Tunisia in calling for political dialogue to end the crisis in neighbouring Libya, rejecting a military solution. 

7. Jordan — 4.65% of GDP

7. Jordan — 4.65% of GDP

A Jordanian soldier carries a Syrian refugee child to help him board a Jordanian army vehicleThomson Reuters

Population: 8.2 million (97th in the world)

Jordanians must be 17 to join the military, and conscription for men was reintroduced in 2007.

In 2014 Jordan’s national airline introduced new restrictions on travel for men of military age, in preparation for military action against Islamic jihadists in Iraq and Syria. The biggest age group in the country is 0-14, and the median age is 22.3. 

In June, Germany announced it would move its military forces from Turkey to Jordan following a diplomatic dispute.

Jordan is a close military ally of the US and holds a strategically important position between Iraq and Syria.

6. Azerbaijan — 4.7% of GDP

6. Azerbaijan — 4.7% of GDP

A house which was damaged during clashes between Armenian and Azeri forces is seen in Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is controlled by separatist Armenians, in this still image taken from video provided by Nagorno-Karabakh region Defence Ministry April 2, 2016.REUTERS/Nagorno-Karabakh Military Handout via Reuters TV

Population: 9.9 million (92nd in the world)

Men between 18 and 35 are required to perform military service for 18 months, or for 12 months if they are university graduates. 

The landlocked region of Nagorno-Karabakh remains disputed territory between Azerbaijan and Armenia. 

A ceasefire, brokered in 1994, was violated severely last year when troops marched on the region and hostilities heated up. Azerbaijan also said Armenia had broken it 128 times in 24 hours on Tuesday.

5. Israel — 5.69% of GDP

5. Israel — 5.69% of GDP

Two Israeli Border Police officers detain Palestinian photographer Shadi Hatem, during a protest organized by activists in support of Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails, in front of the Israeli Ofer prison, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, August 3, 2016.Nasser Shiyoukhi/AP

Population: 8.2 million (99th in the world)

Both men and women must do military service, although men must serve for longer (32 months compared to women’s 24 months).

Israel has been locked in a conflict over territory with neighbouring Palestine for years, despite numerous attempts by international forces to broker a peace agreement. Israelis have ruled over Palestinians in the West Bank, in the east of Israel, and eastern Jerusalem since 1967, and low-level fighting between the two sides are ongoing.

US President Donald Trump boasted before his election that he could help broker a peace deal between the two nations, but reports from June suggested he may be considering pulling out of the process.

4. Saudi Arabia — 7.98% of GDP

4. Saudi Arabia — 7.98% of GDP

Saudi youths demonstrate a stunt known as “sidewall skiing” (driving on two wheels) in the northern city of Hail, in Saudi Arabia March 30, 2013.Reuters

Population: 28.2 million (47th in the world)

The minimum legal age for men (women are not permitted) to join the military in Saudi Arabia is 17, and there is no conscription. 

In May, oil-rich Saudi Arabia signed a $110 billion[7] weapons deal with the United States, which included items that had been put on hold under the Obama administration due to concerns about civilian deaths in Saudi’s attacks on Yemen.

The British government has also been criticised for continuing to sell arms to Saudi, despite civilian deaths in Yemeni raids.

Saudi and its allies in the Middle East cut diplomatic ties with and imposed sanctions on Qatar earlier in June, after accusing the country of supporting extremism. After issuing an ultimatum last week, Saudi announced on Wednesday[8] that it had received a response, and would reply in due course.

3. Oman — 8.61% of GDP

3. Oman — 8.61% of GDP

Oman’s leader Sultan Qaboos bin Said. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad

Population: 3.4 million (134th in the world)

The legal age for voluntary military service is between 18 and 30, and there is no conscription.

The UK sold £2.5 billion[9] worth of weapons to Oman, a close ally, in 2013, and the UK government has a military base in Oman’s Duqm Port complex. But human rights campaigners have criticised the UK’s support for the country: Human Rights Watch[10] says Oman does not permit freedom of expression, discriminates against women and allows the abuse and exploitation of migrant workers.

2. Iraq — 8.7% of GDP

2. Iraq — 8.7% of GDP

A member of the Counter Terrorism Service walks past the ruined Grand al-Nuri Mosque in the Old City in MosulThomson Reuters

Population: 38.1 million (37th in the world)

The median age in Iraq is 19.9, and military service is open to those aged between 18 and 40. There is no conscription.

Military spending in Iraq has increased considerably since 2011, when it stood at 3.18% of GDP. 

Iraq was ravaged by war between 2003 and 2011, that began following an invasion by a United States-led coalition to topple Saddam Hussein. The UK’s Chilcot inquiry has since condemned the war as unnecessary since Hussein did not pose an immediate threat to the UK and intelligence reports that he had weapons of mass destruction were false.

The governments that have held power in Iraq since Hussein have battled to keep order, and the country is still suffering violence and instability. In 2014, ISIS seized large parts of the country. Much of this territory has since been regained, but thousands of people have been displaced in the conflict.

1. South Sudan — 10.32% of GDP

Population: 12.3 million (75th in the world)

The median age in South Sudan is 17.1, and over 44% of the population is between the age of 0 and 14. However, charity UNICEF estimates[11] that more than 17,000 child soldiers have been used to help fight the country’s civil war, which began in 2013. Despite this, 18 is the legal minimum age for both compulsory and voluntary military service.

The war erupted after President Salva Kiir accused his former vice-president of plotting a coup. Although a ceasefire was brokered in 2014, it has been repeatedly broken.

The war has caused over one million people to be displaced, and reports suggest civilians are being routinely targeted. In December 2016, the UN said ethnic cleansing[12] was occurring in some parts of the country.

In February, the UN formally declared a famine[13] in parts of South Sudan, warning that 100,000 people were facing starvation and over a million were on the brink of famine. In May, the President declared a ceasefire, but the violence has continued.

References

  1. ^ One Page (www.businessinsider.com)
  2. ^ Slides (www.businessinsider.com)
  3. ^ world’s largest hunger crisis (www.un.org)
  4. ^ UN refugee agency (data.unhcr.org)
  5. ^ US forces have been criticised (uk.businessinsider.com)
  6. ^ $54 billion Trump called for (uk.businessinsider.com)
  7. ^ signed a $110 billion (uk.businessinsider.com)
  8. ^ Saudi announced on Wednesday (www.businessinsider.com)
  9. ^ sold £2.5 billion (www.gov.uk)
  10. ^ Human Rights Watch (www.hrw.org)
  11. ^ UNICEF estimates (www.unicef.org)
  12. ^ the UN said ethnic cleansing (www.un.org)
  13. ^ UN formally declared a famine (www.un.org)
0

The 12 countries that spend the highest proportion of GDP on their military

US MilitaryA US soldier.Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesThe United States regularly has the world’s highest military expenditure, and upped its budget to $603 billion (£467 billion) this year.

But when military spend is looked at as a percentage of a country’s gross domestic product (GDP), the picture is different.

This measurement looks at the relative size of a country’s miltary spending, rather than comparing budgets.

Keep scrolling for the top 12 countries. 

12. Yemen — 4.02% of GDP

12. Yemen — 4.02% of GDP

Forensic experts investigate the scene at the community hall where Saudi-led warplanes struck a funeral in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, October 9, 2016. Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

Population: 27.4 million (48th in the world)

18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service, but over 40% of Yemen’s population is 14 or younger, and the median age is 19.2.

Yemen has been gripped by civil war since 2014, when Houthi rebels took much of the country by force. In response, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies — with assistance from the United States and the UK — launched a drone strike campaign in an attempt to retake territory from the rebels.

Yemen is currently suffering a famine, which the UN has called the world’s largest hunger crisis[3], and an outbreak of cholera.

11. Lebanon — 4.04% of GDP

11. Lebanon — 4.04% of GDP

Hundreds of Syrian families wait to register at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon, on Jan. 30, 2017.AP/ Hassan Ammar

Population: 6.2 million (108th in the world)

The legal minimum age for voluntary military service is between 17 and 30, and there is no conscription.

Parts of Lebanon are still controlled by Hezbollah — a Shi’a Islamist military group and political party, named as a terrorist organisation by the European Union. Hezbollah was involved in a war with Israel in 2006.

Meanwhile, in 2012 the Syrian conflict spilled into Lebanon, and tensions and violence in the country escalated. According to the UN refugee agency[4], there are now over one million Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

10. Armenia — 4.1% of GDP

10. Armenia — 4.1% of GDP

Protesters gesture as a riot police vehicle sprays a jet of water to disperse them during a rally against a recent decision to raise public electricity prices in Yerevan, Armenia, June 23, 2015. The protest started on Monday, when about 5,000 demonstrators marched to the presidential headquarters, as they rallied against a recent decision to raise public electricity prices, but were stopped by riot police. The protesters began a sit-in protest, blocking traffic on a central boulevard. Police asked demonstrators to leave the road but they refused. Reuters/Vahram Baghdasaryan/Photolure

Population: 3.1 million (136th in the world)

People between the ages of 18 and 27 are eligible to volunteer for military service, and there is a two-year mandatory conscription period for men.

On Tuesday the Azerbaijani Defence Ministry reported that Armenia’s military forces had violated a ceasefire between the two nations 128 times in 24 hours.

This conflict began in 1988 when Armenia tried to take Azerbaijani territory. The ceasefire was agreed in 1994 following peace negotiations, but tensions remain in the Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh region, which has an ethnic Armenian majority.

Last year, violent protests erupted in Armenia’s capital, with armed protestors demanding the resignation of President Serzh Sarkisian and the release of opposition leader Jirair Sefilian.

9. USA — 4.35% of GDP

9. USA — 4.35% of GDP

TAJI, IRAQ – APRIL 12: U.S. Army trainers speak with Iraqi Army recruits at a military base on April 12, 2015 in Taji, Iraq. Members of the U.S. Army’s 5-73 CAV, 3BCT, 82nd Airborne Division are teaching members of the newly-formed 15th Division of the Iraqi Army, as the Iraqi government launches offensives to try to recover territory lost to ISIS last year.Getty Images

Population: 324 million (4th in the world)

The legal minimum age for voluntary military service in the United States is 18, or 17 with parental consent. In 2011, the US Department of Defence said the country had active military troops stationed in nearly 150 countries.

Most recently and most prominently, US forces have been involved in airstrikes and raids in Yemen,, Syria and Iraq. US forces have been criticised[5] for civilian deaths in all three countries.

The election of President Donald Trump has caused concerns that US military intervention in the Middle East is set to increase. In May, the US budget increased military spending by $15 billion, below the $54 billion Trump called for[6] in March.

8. Algeria — 4.48% of GDP

8. Algeria — 4.48% of GDP

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.Thomson Reuters

Population: 40.3 million (34th in the world)

The legal age for military service is 17, and men are conscripted for 18 months between the ages of 19 and 30. 

Algeria suffered a civil war beginning in 1992, sparked by a military coup against the Islamic Salvation Front. The war led to the deaths of more than 100,000 people, with thousands more missing. In 1999 President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who still rules Algeria, agreed a peace deal with the rebels and banned the Islamic Salvation Front party. 

In June, Algeria joined Egypt and Tunisia in calling for political dialogue to end the crisis in neighbouring Libya, rejecting a military solution. 

7. Jordan — 4.65% of GDP

7. Jordan — 4.65% of GDP

A Jordanian soldier carries a Syrian refugee child to help him board a Jordanian army vehicleThomson Reuters

Population: 8.2 million (97th in the world)

Jordanians must be 17 to join the military, and conscription for men was reintroduced in 2007.

In 2014 Jordan’s national airline introduced new restrictions on travel for men of military age, in preparation for military action against Islamic jihadists in Iraq and Syria. The biggest age group in the country is 0-14, and the median age is 22.3. 

In June, Germany announced it would move its military forces from Turkey to Jordan following a diplomatic dispute.

Jordan is a close military ally of the US and holds a strategically important position between Iraq and Syria.

6. Azerbaijan — 4.7% of GDP

6. Azerbaijan — 4.7% of GDP

A house which was damaged during clashes between Armenian and Azeri forces is seen in Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is controlled by separatist Armenians, in this still image taken from video provided by Nagorno-Karabakh region Defence Ministry April 2, 2016.REUTERS/Nagorno-Karabakh Military Handout via Reuters TV

Population: 9.9 million (92nd in the world)

Men between 18 and 35 are required to perform military service for 18 months, or for 12 months if they are university graduates. 

The landlocked region of Nagorno-Karabakh remains disputed territory between Azerbaijan and Armenia. 

A ceasefire, brokered in 1994, was violated severely last year when troops marched on the region and hostilities heated up. Azerbaijan also said Armenia had broken it 128 times in 24 hours on Tuesday.

5. Israel — 5.69% of GDP

5. Israel — 5.69% of GDP

Two Israeli Border Police officers detain Palestinian photographer Shadi Hatem, during a protest organized by activists in support of Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails, in front of the Israeli Ofer prison, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, August 3, 2016.Nasser Shiyoukhi/AP

Population: 8.2 million (99th in the world)

Both men and women must do military service, although men must serve for longer (32 months compared to women’s 24 months).

Israel has been locked in a conflict over territory with neighbouring Palestine for years, despite numerous attempts by international forces to broker a peace agreement. Israelis have ruled over Palestinians in the West Bank, in the east of Israel, and eastern Jerusalem since 1967, and low-level fighting between the two sides are ongoing.

US President Donald Trump boasted before his election that he could help broker a peace deal between the two nations, but reports from June suggested he may be considering pulling out of the process.

4. Saudi Arabia — 7.98% of GDP

4. Saudi Arabia — 7.98% of GDP

Saudi youths demonstrate a stunt known as “sidewall skiing” (driving on two wheels) in the northern city of Hail, in Saudi Arabia March 30, 2013.Reuters

Population: 28.2 million (47th in the world)

The minimum legal age for men (women are not permitted) to join the military in Saudi Arabia is 17, and there is no conscription. 

In May, oil-rich Saudi Arabia signed a $110 billion[7] weapons deal with the United States, which included items that had been put on hold under the Obama administration due to concerns about civilian deaths in Saudi’s attacks on Yemen.

The British government has also been criticised for continuing to sell arms to Saudi, despite civilian deaths in Yemeni raids.

Saudi and its allies in the Middle East cut diplomatic ties with and imposed sanctions on Qatar earlier in June, after accusing the country of supporting extremism. After issuing an ultimatum last week, Saudi announced on Wednesday[8] that it had received a response, and would reply in due course.

3. Oman — 8.61% of GDP

3. Oman — 8.61% of GDP

Oman’s leader Sultan Qaboos bin Said. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad

Population: 3.4 million (134th in the world)

The legal age for voluntary military service is between 18 and 30, and there is no conscription.

The UK sold £2.5 billion[9] worth of weapons to Oman, a close ally, in 2013, and the UK government has a military base in Oman’s Duqm Port complex. But human rights campaigners have criticised the UK’s support for the country: Human Rights Watch[10] says Oman does not permit freedom of expression, discriminates against women and allows the abuse and exploitation of migrant workers.

2. Iraq — 8.7% of GDP

2. Iraq — 8.7% of GDP

A member of the Counter Terrorism Service walks past the ruined Grand al-Nuri Mosque in the Old City in MosulThomson Reuters

Population: 38.1 million (37th in the world)

The median age in Iraq is 19.9, and military service is open to those aged between 18 and 40. There is no conscription.

Military spending in Iraq has increased considerably since 2011, when it stood at 3.18% of GDP. 

Iraq was ravaged by war between 2003 and 2011, that began following an invasion by a United States-led coalition to topple Saddam Hussein. The UK’s Chilcot inquiry has since condemned the war as unnecessary since Hussein did not pose an immediate threat to the UK and intelligence reports that he had weapons of mass destruction were false.

The governments that have held power in Iraq since Hussein have battled to keep order, and the country is still suffering violence and instability. In 2014, ISIS seized large parts of the country. Much of this territory has since been regained, but thousands of people have been displaced in the conflict.

1. South Sudan — 10.32% of GDP

Population: 12.3 million (75th in the world)

The median age in South Sudan is 17.1, and over 44% of the population is between the age of 0 and 14. However, charity UNICEF estimates[11] that more than 17,000 child soldiers have been used to help fight the country’s civil war, which began in 2013. Despite this, 18 is the legal minimum age for both compulsory and voluntary military service.

The war erupted after President Salva Kiir accused his former vice-president of plotting a coup. Although a ceasefire was brokered in 2014, it has been repeatedly broken.

The war has caused over one million people to be displaced, and reports suggest civilians are being routinely targeted. In December 2016, the UN said ethnic cleansing[12] was occurring in some parts of the country.

In February, the UN formally declared a famine[13] in parts of South Sudan, warning that 100,000 people were facing starvation and over a million were on the brink of famine. In May, the President declared a ceasefire, but the violence has continued.

References

  1. ^ One Page (www.businessinsider.com)
  2. ^ Slides (www.businessinsider.com)
  3. ^ world’s largest hunger crisis (www.un.org)
  4. ^ UN refugee agency (data.unhcr.org)
  5. ^ US forces have been criticised (uk.businessinsider.com)
  6. ^ $54 billion Trump called for (uk.businessinsider.com)
  7. ^ signed a $110 billion (uk.businessinsider.com)
  8. ^ Saudi announced on Wednesday (www.businessinsider.com)
  9. ^ sold £2.5 billion (www.gov.uk)
  10. ^ Human Rights Watch (www.hrw.org)
  11. ^ UNICEF estimates (www.unicef.org)
  12. ^ the UN said ethnic cleansing (www.un.org)
  13. ^ UN formally declared a famine (www.un.org)
0

The 12 countries that spend the highest proportion of GDP on their military

US MilitaryA US soldier.Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesThe United States regularly has the world’s highest military expenditure, and upped its budget to $603 billion (£467 million) this year.

But when military spend is looked at as a percentage of a country’s gross domestic product (GDP), the picture is different.

This measurement looks at the relative size of a country’s miltary spending, rather than comparing budgets.

Keep scrolling for the top 12 countries. 

12. Yemen — 4.02% of GDP

12. Yemen — 4.02% of GDP

Forensic experts investigate the scene at the community hall where Saudi-led warplanes struck a funeral in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, October 9, 2016. Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

Population: 27.4 million (48th in the world)

18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service, but over 40% of Yemen’s population is 14 or younger, and the median age is 19.2.

Yemen has been gripped by civil war since 2014, when Houthi rebels took much of the country by force. In response, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies — with assistance from the United States and the UK — launched a drone strike campaign in an attempt to retake territory from the rebels.

Yemen is currently suffering a famine, which the UN has called the world’s largest hunger crisis[3], and an outbreak of cholera.

11. Lebanon — 4.04% of GDP

11. Lebanon — 4.04% of GDP

Hundreds of Syrian families wait to register at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon, on Jan. 30, 2017.AP/ Hassan Ammar

Population: 6.2 million (108th in the world)

The legal minimum age for voluntary military service is between 17 and 30, and there is no conscription.

Parts of Lebanon are still controlled by Hezbollah — a Shi’a Islamist military group and political party, named as a terrorist organisation by the European Union. Hezbollah was involved in a war with Israel in 2006.

Meanwhile, in 2012 the Syrian conflict spilled into Lebanon, and tensions and violence in the country escalated. According to the UN refugee agency[4], there are now over one million Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

10. Armenia — 4.1% of GDP

10. Armenia — 4.1% of GDP

Protesters gesture as a riot police vehicle sprays a jet of water to disperse them during a rally against a recent decision to raise public electricity prices in Yerevan, Armenia, June 23, 2015. The protest started on Monday, when about 5,000 demonstrators marched to the presidential headquarters, as they rallied against a recent decision to raise public electricity prices, but were stopped by riot police. The protesters began a sit-in protest, blocking traffic on a central boulevard. Police asked demonstrators to leave the road but they refused. Reuters/Vahram Baghdasaryan/Photolure

Population: 3.1 million (136th in the world)

People between the ages of 18 and 27 are eligible to volunteer for military service, and there is a two-year mandatory conscription period for men.

On Tuesday the Azerbaijani Defence Ministry reported that Armenia’s military forces had violated a ceasefire between the two nations 128 times in 24 hours.

This conflict began in 1988 when Armenia tried to take Azerbaijani territory. The ceasefire was agreed in 1994 following peace negotiations, but tensions remain in the Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh region, which has an ethnic Armenian majority.

Last year, violent protests erupted in Armenia’s capital, with armed protestors demanding the resignation of President Serzh Sarkisian and the release of opposition leader Jirair Sefilian.

9. USA — 4.35% of GDP

9. USA — 4.35% of GDP

TAJI, IRAQ – APRIL 12: U.S. Army trainers speak with Iraqi Army recruits at a military base on April 12, 2015 in Taji, Iraq. Members of the U.S. Army’s 5-73 CAV, 3BCT, 82nd Airborne Division are teaching members of the newly-formed 15th Division of the Iraqi Army, as the Iraqi government launches offensives to try to recover territory lost to ISIS last year.Getty Images

Population: 324 million (4th in the world)

The legal minimum age for voluntary military service in the United States is 18, or 17 with parental consent. In 2011, the US Department of Defence said the country had active military troops stationed in nearly 150 countries.

Most recently and most prominently, US forces have been involved in airstrikes and raids in Yemen,, Syria and Iraq. US forces have been criticised[5] for civilian deaths in all three countries.

The election of President Donald Trump has caused concerns that US military intervention in the Middle East is set to increase. In May, the US budget increased military spending by $15 billion, below the $54 billion Trump called for[6] in March.

8. Algeria — 4.48% of GDP

8. Algeria — 4.48% of GDP

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.Thomson Reuters

Population: 40.3 million (34th in the world)

The legal age for military service is 17, and men are conscripted for 18 months between the ages of 19 and 30. 

Algeria suffered a civil war beginning in 1992, sparked by a military coup against the Islamic Salvation Front. The war led to the deaths of more than 100,000 people, with thousands more missing. In 1999 President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who still rules Algeria, agreed a peace deal with the rebels and banned the Islamic Salvation Front party. 

In June, Algeria joined Egypt and Tunisia in calling for political dialogue to end the crisis in neighbouring Libya, rejecting a military solution. 

7. Jordan — 4.65% of GDP

7. Jordan — 4.65% of GDP

A Jordanian soldier carries a Syrian refugee child to help him board a Jordanian army vehicleThomson Reuters

Population: 8.2 million (97th in the world)

Jordanians must be 17 to join the military, and conscription for men was reintroduced in 2007.

In 2014 Jordan’s national airline introduced new restrictions on travel for men of military age, in preparation for military action against Islamic jihadists in Iraq and Syria. The biggest age group in the country is 0-14, and the median age is 22.3. 

In June, Germany announced it would move its military forces from Turkey to Jordan following a diplomatic dispute.

Jordan is a close military ally of the US and holds a strategically important position between Iraq and Syria.

6. Azerbaijan — 4.7% of GDP

6. Azerbaijan — 4.7% of GDP

A house which was damaged during clashes between Armenian and Azeri forces is seen in Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is controlled by separatist Armenians, in this still image taken from video provided by Nagorno-Karabakh region Defence Ministry April 2, 2016.REUTERS/Nagorno-Karabakh Military Handout via Reuters TV

Population: 9.9 million (92nd in the world)

Men between 18 and 35 are required to perform military service for 18 months, or for 12 months if they are university graduates. 

The landlocked region of Nagorno-Karabakh remains disputed territory between Azerbaijan and Armenia. 

A ceasefire, brokered in 1994, was violated severely last year when troops marched on the region and hostilities heated up. Azerbaijan also said Armenia had broken it 128 times in 24 hours on Tuesday.

5. Israel — 5.69% of GDP

5. Israel — 5.69% of GDP

Two Israeli Border Police officers detain Palestinian photographer Shadi Hatem, during a protest organized by activists in support of Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails, in front of the Israeli Ofer prison, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, August 3, 2016.Nasser Shiyoukhi/AP

Population: 8.2 million (99th in the world)

Both men and women must do military service, although men must serve for longer (32 months compared to women’s 24 months).

Israel has been locked in a conflict over territory with neighbouring Palestine for years, despite numerous attempts by international forces to broker a peace agreement. Israelis have ruled over Palestinians in the West Bank, in the east of Israel, and eastern Jerusalem since 1967, and low-level fighting between the two sides are ongoing.

US President Donald Trump boasted before his election that he could help broker a peace deal between the two nations, but reports from June suggested he may be considering pulling out of the process.

4. Saudi Arabia — 7.98% of GDP

4. Saudi Arabia — 7.98% of GDP

Saudi youths demonstrate a stunt known as “sidewall skiing” (driving on two wheels) in the northern city of Hail, in Saudi Arabia March 30, 2013.Reuters

Population: 28.2 million (47th in the world)

The minimum legal age for men (women are not permitted) to join the military in Saudi Arabia is 17, and there is no conscription. 

In May, oil-rich Saudi Arabia signed a $110 billion[7] weapons deal with the United States, which included items that had been put on hold under the Obama administration due to concerns about civilian deaths in Saudi’s attacks on Yemen.

The British government has also been criticised for continuing to sell arms to Saudi, despite civilian deaths in Yemeni raids.

Saudi and its allies in the Middle East cut diplomatic ties with and imposed sanctions on Qatar earlier in June, after accusing the country of supporting extremism. After issuing an ultimatum last week, Saudi announced on Wednesday[8] that it had received a response, and would reply in due course.

3. Oman — 8.61% of GDP

3. Oman — 8.61% of GDP

Oman’s leader Sultan Qaboos bin Said. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad

Population: 3.4 million (134th in the world)

The legal age for voluntary military service is between 18 and 30, and there is no conscription.

The UK sold £2.5 billion[9] worth of weapons to Oman, a close ally, in 2013, and the UK government has a military base in Oman’s Duqm Port complex. But human rights campaigners have criticised the UK’s support for the country: Human Rights Watch[10] says Oman does not permit freedom of expression, discriminates against women and allows the abuse and exploitation of migrant workers.

2. Iraq — 8.7% of GDP

2. Iraq — 8.7% of GDP

A member of the Counter Terrorism Service walks past the ruined Grand al-Nuri Mosque in the Old City in MosulThomson Reuters

Population: 38.1 million (37th in the world)

The median age in Iraq is 19.9, and military service is open to those aged between 18 and 40. There is no conscription.

Military spending in Iraq has increased considerably since 2011, when it stood at 3.18% of GDP. 

Iraq was ravaged by war between 2003 and 2011, that began following an invasion by a United States-led coalition to topple Saddam Hussein. The UK’s Chilcot inquiry has since condemned the war as unnecessary since Hussein did not pose an immediate threat to the UK and intelligence reports that he had weapons of mass destruction were false.

The governments that have held power in Iraq since Hussein have battled to keep order, and the country is still suffering violence and instability. In 2014, ISIS seized large parts of the country. Much of this territory has since been regained, but thousands of people have been displaced in the conflict.

1. South Sudan — 10.32% of GDP

Population: 12.3 million (75th in the world)

The median age in South Sudan is 17.1, and over 44% of the population is between the age of 0 and 14. However, charity UNICEF estimates[11] that more than 17,000 child soldiers have been used to help fight the country’s civil war, which began in 2013. Despite this, 18 is the legal minimum age for both compulsory and voluntary military service.

The war erupted after President Salva Kiir accused his former vice-president of plotting a coup. Although a ceasefire was brokered in 2014, it has been repeatedly broken.

The war has caused over one million people to be displaced, and reports suggest civilians are being routinely targeted. In December 2016, the UN said ethnic cleansing[12] was occurring in some parts of the country.

In February, the UN formally declared a famine[13] in parts of South Sudan, warning that 100,000 people were facing starvation and over a million were on the brink of famine. In May, the President declared a ceasefire, but the violence has continued.

References

  1. ^ One Page (www.businessinsider.com)
  2. ^ Slides (www.businessinsider.com)
  3. ^ world’s largest hunger crisis (www.un.org)
  4. ^ UN refugee agency (data.unhcr.org)
  5. ^ US forces have been criticised (uk.businessinsider.com)
  6. ^ $54 billion Trump called for (uk.businessinsider.com)
  7. ^ signed a $110 billion (uk.businessinsider.com)
  8. ^ Saudi announced on Wednesday (www.businessinsider.com)
  9. ^ sold £2.5 billion (www.gov.uk)
  10. ^ Human Rights Watch (www.hrw.org)
  11. ^ UNICEF estimates (www.unicef.org)
  12. ^ the UN said ethnic cleansing (www.un.org)
  13. ^ UN formally declared a famine (www.un.org)
0

The 12 countries that spend the highest proportion of GDP on their military

US MilitaryA US soldier.Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesThe United States regularly has the world’s highest military expenditure, and upped its budget to $603 billion (£467 million) this year.

But when military spend is looked at as a percentage of a country’s gross domestic product (GDP), the picture is different.

This measurement looks at the relative size of a country’s miltary spending, rather than comparing budgets.

Keep scrolling for the top 12 countries. 

12. Yemen — 4.02% of GDP

12. Yemen — 4.02% of GDP

Forensic experts investigate the scene at the community hall where Saudi-led warplanes struck a funeral in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, October 9, 2016. Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

Population: 27.4 million (48th in the world)

18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service, but over 40% of Yemen’s population is 14 or younger, and the median age is 19.2.

Yemen has been gripped by civil war since 2014, when Houthi rebels took much of the country by force. In response, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies — with assistance from the United States and the UK — launched a drone strike campaign in an attempt to retake territory from the rebels.

Yemen is currently suffering a famine, which the UN has called the world’s largest hunger crisis[3], and an outbreak of cholera.

11. Lebanon — 4.04% of GDP

11. Lebanon — 4.04% of GDP

Hundreds of Syrian families wait to register at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon, on Jan. 30, 2017.AP/ Hassan Ammar

Population: 6.2 million (108th in the world)

The legal minimum age for voluntary military service is between 17 and 30, and there is no conscription.

Parts of Lebanon are still controlled by Hezbollah — a Shi’a Islamist military group and political party, named as a terrorist organisation by the European Union. Hezbollah was involved in a war with Israel in 2006.

Meanwhile, in 2012 the Syrian conflict spilled into Lebanon, and tensions and violence in the country escalated. According to the UN refugee agency[4], there are now over one million Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

10. Armenia — 4.1% of GDP

10. Armenia — 4.1% of GDP

Protesters gesture as a riot police vehicle sprays a jet of water to disperse them during a rally against a recent decision to raise public electricity prices in Yerevan, Armenia, June 23, 2015. The protest started on Monday, when about 5,000 demonstrators marched to the presidential headquarters, as they rallied against a recent decision to raise public electricity prices, but were stopped by riot police. The protesters began a sit-in protest, blocking traffic on a central boulevard. Police asked demonstrators to leave the road but they refused. Reuters/Vahram Baghdasaryan/Photolure

Population: 3.1 million (136th in the world)

People between the ages of 18 and 27 are eligible to volunteer for military service, and there is a two-year mandatory conscription period for men.

On Tuesday the Azerbaijani Defence Ministry reported that Armenia’s military forces had violated a ceasefire between the two nations 128 times in 24 hours.

This conflict began in 1988 when Armenia tried to take Azerbaijani territory. The ceasefire was agreed in 1994 following peace negotiations, but tensions remain in the Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh region, which has an ethnic Armenian majority.

Last year, violent protests erupted in Armenia’s capital, with armed protestors demanding the resignation of President Serzh Sarkisian and the release of opposition leader Jirair Sefilian.

9. USA — 4.35% of GDP

9. USA — 4.35% of GDP

TAJI, IRAQ – APRIL 12: U.S. Army trainers speak with Iraqi Army recruits at a military base on April 12, 2015 in Taji, Iraq. Members of the U.S. Army’s 5-73 CAV, 3BCT, 82nd Airborne Division are teaching members of the newly-formed 15th Division of the Iraqi Army, as the Iraqi government launches offensives to try to recover territory lost to ISIS last year.Getty Images

Population: 324 million (4th in the world)

The legal minimum age for voluntary military service in the United States is 18, or 17 with parental consent. In 2011, the US Department of Defence said the country had active military troops stationed in nearly 150 countries.

Most recently and most prominently, US forces have been involved in airstrikes and raids in Yemen,, Syria and Iraq. US forces have been criticised[5] for civilian deaths in all three countries.

The election of President Donald Trump has caused concerns that US military intervention in the Middle East is set to increase. In May, the US budget increased military spending by $15 billion, below the $54 billion Trump called for[6] in March.

8. Algeria — 4.48% of GDP

8. Algeria — 4.48% of GDP

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.Thomson Reuters

Population: 40.3 million (34th in the world)

The legal age for military service is 17, and men are conscripted for 18 months between the ages of 19 and 30. 

Algeria suffered a civil war beginning in 1992, sparked by a military coup against the Islamic Salvation Front. The war led to the deaths of more than 100,000 people, with thousands more missing. In 1999 President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who still rules Algeria, agreed a peace deal with the rebels and banned the Islamic Salvation Front party. 

In June, Algeria joined Egypt and Tunisia in calling for political dialogue to end the crisis in neighbouring Libya, rejecting a military solution. 

7. Jordan — 4.65% of GDP

7. Jordan — 4.65% of GDP

A Jordanian soldier carries a Syrian refugee child to help him board a Jordanian army vehicleThomson Reuters

Population: 8.2 million (97th in the world)

Jordanians must be 17 to join the military, and conscription for men was reintroduced in 2007.

In 2014 Jordan’s national airline introduced new restrictions on travel for men of military age, in preparation for military action against Islamic jihadists in Iraq and Syria. The biggest age group in the country is 0-14, and the median age is 22.3. 

In June, Germany announced it would move its military forces from Turkey to Jordan following a diplomatic dispute.

Jordan is a close military ally of the US and holds a strategically important position between Iraq and Syria.

6. Azerbaijan — 4.7% of GDP

6. Azerbaijan — 4.7% of GDP

A house which was damaged during clashes between Armenian and Azeri forces is seen in Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is controlled by separatist Armenians, in this still image taken from video provided by Nagorno-Karabakh region Defence Ministry April 2, 2016.REUTERS/Nagorno-Karabakh Military Handout via Reuters TV

Population: 9.9 million (92nd in the world)

Men between 18 and 35 are required to perform military service for 18 months, or for 12 months if they are university graduates. 

The landlocked region of Nagorno-Karabakh remains disputed territory between Azerbaijan and Armenia. 

A ceasefire, brokered in 1994, was violated severely last year when troops marched on the region and hostilities heated up. Azerbaijan also said Armenia had broken it 128 times in 24 hours on Tuesday.

5. Israel — 5.69% of GDP

5. Israel — 5.69% of GDP

Two Israeli Border Police officers detain Palestinian photographer Shadi Hatem, during a protest organized by activists in support of Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails, in front of the Israeli Ofer prison, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, August 3, 2016.Nasser Shiyoukhi/AP

Population: 8.2 million (99th in the world)

Both men and women must do military service, although men must serve for longer (32 months compared to women’s 24 months).

Israel has been locked in a conflict over territory with neighbouring Palestine for years, despite numerous attempts by international forces to broker a peace agreement. Israelis have ruled over Palestinians in the West Bank, in the east of Israel, and eastern Jerusalem since 1967, and low-level fighting between the two sides are ongoing.

US President Donald Trump boasted before his election that he could help broker a peace deal between the two nations, but reports from June suggested he may be considering pulling out of the process.

4. Saudi Arabia — 7.98% of GDP

4. Saudi Arabia — 7.98% of GDP

Saudi youths demonstrate a stunt known as “sidewall skiing” (driving on two wheels) in the northern city of Hail, in Saudi Arabia March 30, 2013.Reuters

Population: 28.2 million (47th in the world)

The minimum legal age for men (women are not permitted) to join the military in Saudi Arabia is 17, and there is no conscription. 

In May, oil-rich Saudi Arabia signed a $110 billion[7] weapons deal with the United States, which included items that had been put on hold under the Obama administration due to concerns about civilian deaths in Saudi’s attacks on Yemen.

The British government has also been criticised for continuing to sell arms to Saudi, despite civilian deaths in Yemeni raids.

Saudi and its allies in the Middle East cut diplomatic ties with and imposed sanctions on Qatar earlier in June, after accusing the country of supporting extremism. After issuing an ultimatum last week, Saudi announced on Wednesday[8] that it had received a response, and would reply in due course.

3. Oman — 8.61% of GDP

3. Oman — 8.61% of GDP

Oman’s leader Sultan Qaboos bin Said. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad

Population: 3.4 million (134th in the world)

The legal age for voluntary military service is between 18 and 30, and there is no conscription.

The UK sold £2.5 billion[9] worth of weapons to Oman, a close ally, in 2013, and the UK government has a military base in Oman’s Duqm Port complex. But human rights campaigners have criticised the UK’s support for the country: Human Rights Watch[10] says Oman does not permit freedom of expression, discriminates against women and allows the abuse and exploitation of migrant workers.

2. Iraq — 8.7% of GDP

2. Iraq — 8.7% of GDP

A member of the Counter Terrorism Service walks past the ruined Grand al-Nuri Mosque in the Old City in MosulThomson Reuters

Population: 38.1 million (37th in the world)

The median age in Iraq is 19.9, and military service is open to those aged between 18 and 40. There is no conscription.

Military spending in Iraq has increased considerably since 2011, when it stood at 3.18% of GDP. 

Iraq was ravaged by war between 2003 and 2011, that began following an invasion by a United States-led coalition to topple Saddam Hussein. The UK’s Chilcot inquiry has since condemned the war as unnecessary since Hussein did not pose an immediate threat to the UK and intelligence reports that he had weapons of mass destruction were false.

The governments that have held power in Iraq since Hussein have battled to keep order, and the country is still suffering violence and instability. In 2014, ISIS seized large parts of the country. Much of this territory has since been regained, but thousands of people have been displaced in the conflict.

1. South Sudan — 10.32% of GDP

Population: 12.3 million (75th in the world)

The median age in South Sudan is 17.1, and over 44% of the population is between the age of 0 and 14. However, charity UNICEF estimates[11] that more than 17,000 child soldiers have been used to help fight the country’s civil war, which began in 2013. Despite this, 18 is the legal minimum age for both compulsory and voluntary military service.

The war erupted after President Salva Kiir accused his former vice-president of plotting a coup. Although a ceasefire was brokered in 2014, it has been repeatedly broken.

The war has caused over one million people to be displaced, and reports suggest civilians are being routinely targeted. In December 2016, the UN said ethnic cleansing[12] was occurring in some parts of the country.

In February, the UN formally declared a famine[13] in parts of South Sudan, warning that 100,000 people were facing starvation and over a million were on the brink of famine. In May, the President declared a ceasefire, but the violence has continued.

References

  1. ^ One Page (www.businessinsider.com)
  2. ^ Slides (www.businessinsider.com)
  3. ^ world’s largest hunger crisis (www.un.org)
  4. ^ UN refugee agency (data.unhcr.org)
  5. ^ US forces have been criticised (uk.businessinsider.com)
  6. ^ $54 billion Trump called for (uk.businessinsider.com)
  7. ^ signed a $110 billion (uk.businessinsider.com)
  8. ^ Saudi announced on Wednesday (www.businessinsider.com)
  9. ^ sold £2.5 billion (www.gov.uk)
  10. ^ Human Rights Watch (www.hrw.org)
  11. ^ UNICEF estimates (www.unicef.org)
  12. ^ the UN said ethnic cleansing (www.un.org)
  13. ^ UN formally declared a famine (www.un.org)
0

War in Space: Congress May Add a New Military Branch Amid China, Russia Satellite Threats

Here’s another sign we’re living in the future: For the first time in 70 years, the U.S. may add a new military branch—for space.

The House Armed Services Committee voted last week to approve a proposal in the National Defense Authorization Act that would create the Space Corps, a military arm under the Air Force aimed at overseeing operations in space. The branch would mostly monitor assets like satellites and track cyber threats, Vox[1] reported Wednesday.

Related: Unmanned U.S. Space Plane Lands After Secret, Two-Year Air Force Mission[2]

The concept of the Space Corps dates back to 2001[3], when then-Defense Secretary nominee Donald Rumsfeld called for more collaboration between agencies and the establishment of an undersecretary position focusing on space, intelligence and information. At the time, Rumsfeld said such action was necessary “if the U.S. is to avoid a ‘space Pearl Harbor.'”

Daily Emails and Alerts– Get the best of Newsweek delivered to your inbox[4]

But even though the idea may be old, the proposal is still causing controversy. Some Air Force officials oppose the Space Corps because of the organizational challenges it could create. Last week, a few of the committee members also raised concerns that they’d just learned about the plan and wanted it to be studied in detail, according to Federal News Radio[5].

“This is sort of a shocking way to hear about a very major reorganization to our military, and I think it deserves at least a couple hearings and discussions on the matter at the full committee level,” said Arizona Representative Martha McSally, a Republican Air Force veteran.

Other lawmakers pushed back, with Tennessee Democrat Jim Cooper and Alabama Republican Mike Rogers arguing that they had “bipartisan acknowledgement that the strategic advantages we derive from our national security space systems are eroding,” according to the Verge[6]. They demanded Congress step in, and quickly: If the provision becomes law in its current form, the Space Corps could be up and running by January 2019.

Rogers also expressed urgency in an interview with NPR[7], going so far as to name Russia and China as big space threats.

“The Russians and Chinese have realized that if they can take our eyes and ears out, which is what our satellites are, they might actually be able to compete or have an advantage against us,” he said. “The bureaucracy is always going to fight reform—always, especially the Pentagon.”

References

  1. ^ Vox (www.vox.com)
  2. ^ Unmanned U.S. Space Plane Lands After Secret, Two-Year Air Force Mission (www.newsweek.com)
  3. ^ 2001 (www.spacedaily.com)
  4. ^ Daily Emails and Alerts- Get the best of Newsweek delivered to your inbox (www.newsweek.com)
  5. ^ according to Federal News Radio (federalnewsradio.com)
  6. ^ according to the Verge (www.theverge.com)
  7. ^ interview with NPR (www.npr.org)
0

Military hero MJ Hegar launches Democratic bid against US Rep. John Carter

In a Texas congressional district that includes one of the country’s largest military bases, a military hero is betting she can stage a political upset.

Air Force veteran MJ Hegar is launching a Democratic challenge against U.S. Rep. John Carter[1], R-Round Rock, in Texas’ solidly red 31st Congressional District[2]

“I see a threat to our Constitution, our democracy,” Hegar said in a recent interview, “and I feel compelled to do something more about it.”

Hegar served three tours in Afghanistan as a search-and-rescue pilot, and in 2009, she saved the lives of her passengers after her medevac helicopter was shot down by the Taliban. She subsequently received the Purple Heart as well as the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor Device.

The Texas Tribune thanks its sponsors. Become one[3].

She went on to become a fierce advocate for women in the military, helping lead a 2012 lawsuit against the Defense Department over its now-repealed policy excluding women from ground combat positions. 

Hegar’s memoir, “Shoot Like a Girl: One Woman’s Dramatic Fight in Afghanistan and on the Home Front,” was published earlier this year and is being made into a film. Angelina Jolie is reportedly[4] in talks to star in it. 

Carter’s district has been reliably Republican, but Hegar, now an executive coach and consultant living in Round Rock, believes she can flip it, confident in her ability to garner crossover support with her experience at the national and international levels. She said her decision to run was partly motivated by the election of President Donald Trump, who has caused concern among even his own party’s national security professionals. 

“I think being a Republican is not what it used to be,” Hegar said. “Even though [the district] is historically Republican, I think some people are voting Republican because they have a misperception of what the Democratic Party is.”

Hegar grew up in a Republican family and voted for the party in her youth. But she said many of the things that once drew her to the GOP — including the principle of small government — are “no longer true,” and she now describes herself as an “independent Democrat.” 

On a number of hot-button issues, Hegar strikes a moderate tone.

The Texas Tribune thanks its sponsors. Become one[5].

“I am for the Second Amendment, but I am for common-sense gun legislation,” said Hegar, who said her household contains five firearms. “We take responsibility for being firearm owners. We take responsibility for whose hands those guns get into.” 

First elected in 2002, Carter has always beaten Democratic challengers by wide margins, including by 22 percentage points last year. He is a member of the powerful Appropriations Committee, a perch he has used to push[6] for more defense funding. The CD-31 includes part of Fort Hood.

Referring to Carter as an “incumbent bystander,” Hegar said she wants to send the message that lawmakers like Carter “cannot get away with just representing his voters, his special interests.”

National Democrats are currently targeting three Republican incumbents in Texas that party leaders view as vulnerable: U.S. Reps. John Culberson of Houston, Will Hurd of Helotes and Pete Sessions of Dallas. Carter is not on that list, but Hegar is urging them to pay attention.

“Please look closer,” she said her message is to groups like the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

As she has prepared for the launch of her campaign, Hegar has been in touch with Democratic heavyweights such as Roy Spence, the Austin-based advertising legend who has worked on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaigns. Hegar could also be in a position to earn the support of EMILY’s List, an influential national group that backs female Democratic candidates who support abortion rights.

Hegar is joining an already crowded field of Democrats who have filed to challenge Carter, including fellow veteran Kent Lester; Dr. Christine Eady Mann, a family physician in Cedar Park; and Mike Clark, who first challenged Carter in 2016. Hegar said she believes she has a “better chance to beat Carter than they do” — she cited her record, as well as her fundraising ability — “but I hope they continue to stay engaged.”

Disclosure: Roy Spence has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune. Find a full list of donors and sponsors here[7]

Read related Tribune coverage:

  • Republican members of the Texas congressional delegation began returning home for a Fourth of July recess Friday amid troubled negotiations on a health care overhaul measure that drew the attention of President Trump. [link[8]]

  • As Republicans debate health care reform, there is one issue on the mind of many Texas families: Medicaid reform. [link[9]]

References

  1. ^ John Carter (www.texastribune.org)
  2. ^ 31st Congressional District (www.texastribune.org)
  3. ^ Become one (mediakit.texastribune.org)
  4. ^ reportedly (variety.com)
  5. ^ Become one (mediakit.texastribune.org)
  6. ^ used to push (carter.house.gov)
  7. ^ here (www.texastribune.org)
  8. ^ link (www.texastribune.org)
  9. ^ link (www.texastribune.org)
0

Military hero MJ Hegar launches Democratic bid against US Rep. John Carter

In a Texas congressional district that includes one of the country’s largest military bases, a military hero is betting she can stage a political upset.

Air Force veteran MJ Hegar is launching a Democratic challenge against U.S. Rep. John Carter[1], R-Round Rock, in Texas’ solidly red 31st Congressional District[2]

“I see a threat to our Constitution, our democracy,” Hegar said in a recent interview, “and I feel compelled to do something more about it.”

Hegar served three tours in Afghanistan as a search-and-rescue pilot, and in 2009, she saved the lives of her passengers after her medevac helicopter was shot down by the Taliban. She subsequently received the Purple Heart as well as the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor Device.

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She went on to become a fierce advocate for women in the military, helping lead a 2012 lawsuit against the Defense Department over its now-repealed policy excluding women from ground combat positions. 

Hegar’s memoir, “Shoot Like a Girl: One Woman’s Dramatic Fight in Afghanistan and on the Home Front,” was published earlier this year and is being made into a film. Angelina Jolie is reportedly[4] in talks to star in it. 

Carter’s district has been reliably Republican, but Hegar, now an executive coach and consultant living in Round Rock, believes she can flip it, confident in her ability to garner crossover support with her experience at the national and international levels. She said her decision to run was partly motivated by the election of President Donald Trump, who has caused concern among even his own party’s national security professionals. 

“I think being a Republican is not what it used to be,” Hegar said. “Even though [the district] is historically Republican, I think some people are voting Republican because they have a misperception of what the Democratic Party is.”

Hegar grew up in a Republican family and voted for the party in her youth. But she said many of the things that once drew her to the GOP — including the principle of small government — are “no longer true,” and she now describes herself as an “independent Democrat.” 

On a number of hot-button issues, Hegar strikes a moderate tone.

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“I am for the Second Amendment, but I am for common-sense gun legislation,” said Hegar, who said her household contains five firearms. “We take responsibility for being firearm owners. We take responsibility for whose hands those guns get into.” 

First elected in 2002, Carter has always beaten Democratic challengers by wide margins, including by 22 percentage points last year. He is a member of the powerful Appropriations Committee, a perch he has used to push[6] for more defense funding. The CD-31 includes part of Fort Hood.

Referring to Carter as an “incumbent bystander,” Hegar said she wants to send the message that lawmakers like Carter “cannot get away with just representing his voters, his special interests.”

National Democrats are currently targeting three Republican incumbents in Texas that party leaders view as vulnerable: U.S. Reps. John Culberson of Houston, Will Hurd of Helotes and Pete Sessions of Dallas. Carter is not on that list, but Hegar is urging them to pay attention.

“Please look closer,” she said her message is to groups like the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

As she has prepared for the launch of her campaign, Hegar has been in touch with Democratic heavyweights such as Roy Spence, the Austin-based advertising legend who has worked on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaigns. Hegar could also be in a position to earn the support of EMILY’s List, an influential national group that backs female Democratic candidates who support abortion rights.

Hegar is joining an already crowded field of Democrats who have filed to challenge Carter, including fellow veteran Kent Lester; Dr. Christine Eady Mann, a family physician in Cedar Park; and Mike Clark, who first challenged Carter in 2016. Hegar said she believes she has a “better chance to beat Carter than they do” — she cited her record, as well as her fundraising ability — “but I hope they continue to stay engaged.”

Disclosure: Roy Spence has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune. Find a full list of donors and sponsors here[7]

Read related Tribune coverage:

  • Republican members of the Texas congressional delegation began returning home for a Fourth of July recess Friday amid troubled negotiations on a health care overhaul measure that drew the attention of President Trump. [link[8]]

  • As Republicans debate health care reform, there is one issue on the mind of many Texas families: Medicaid reform. [link[9]]

References

  1. ^ John Carter (www.texastribune.org)
  2. ^ 31st Congressional District (www.texastribune.org)
  3. ^ Become one (mediakit.texastribune.org)
  4. ^ reportedly (variety.com)
  5. ^ Become one (mediakit.texastribune.org)
  6. ^ used to push (carter.house.gov)
  7. ^ here (www.texastribune.org)
  8. ^ link (www.texastribune.org)
  9. ^ link (www.texastribune.org)